Best of 2008

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but just haven’t had the time to do it with work kicking my ass. But finally, here are the things that I found to be the best of MY 2008.

Best New Music

I found a lot of great new music this year, so finding a list of my favorites was pretty tough. Old bands put out new albums (Metallica, Tesla, Guns & Roses), newer favorites released new tracks, and I found some new groups to enjoy. But out of the bunch, these are the ones that I found myself listening to repeatedly. The links go to MP3 = MP3 / film = videos at or other sources I could find.

1. “John the Revelator” – Curtis Stigers & the Forest Rangers film
2. “Undead” – Hollywood Undead MP3
3. “Big White Gate” – Grace Potter and the Nocturnals MP3
4. “Onward” – Cornmeal MP3
5. “Blind Faith” – the Rustlanders MP3
6. “Talking About” – Susan Tedeschi MP3
7. “Mercy” – Duffy* MP3
8. “Jesse James” – Bruce Springsteen MP3
9. “Follow that Sound” – Sharon Little MP3
10. “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” – Colin Hay MP3
11. “Rowing Song” – Patti Griffin MP3
12. “Cortez the Killer” – Grace Potter, Joe Satriani and Steve Kimock film

Best Books

  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini
  2. The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession – by Mark Obmascik
  3. Web Form Design – by Luke Wroblewski
  4. Star Wars Legacy: Invincible – by Tory Denning
  5. Life And Times of the Thunderbolt Kid – by Bill Bryson

Best New Websites

A really good music site that allows you to listen to any song in their library once for free – and for 10 cents, you can add it to your account to listen to it as many times as you like. For another $0.89, you can also download a DRM-free song. When I joined, I got 50 ‘adds’ for free, too, whihc was nice.
Yeah, I got the bug and started using this site. On the good side, I have re-connected with a lot of old friends from high school and college.
This site has been a great resource for me for design, programming and more. They update it quite often, and the things that they talk about are usually very timely and well written.
This site is great for giving patterns and tips for UI designs.
I know that this has been out there for a long time, but I only discovered it this year.

Most Important Events

This year was another one with lots of ups and downs (mostly ups), in chronological order:

1. My promotion
Actually, this was a two-parter. I got the ‘official’ promotion to UX Lead in March, which led to me working with a team to handle one of our biggest clients. It meant more work and responsibility but it really gave me a lot more opportunities. Then, later in the year, I got a quasi-promotion to Director of UX because of one of those ‘level’ disconnects between our company and the ‘home office’. Not a real promotion, but it did give me a bit more authority, which helps at times.
2. Erin’s Wedding
My cousin Erin finally got married to her longtime boyfriend, Chas – it was a great time and a wonderful event.
3. Grace Potter at the TLA
It had been a while since I had been to a show, and this one really made up for lost time. My cousins, Blair and I all went out for a night at the TLA, where we were treated to a great triple bill of the Rustlanders, Cornmeal and of course Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I only wish I could find a copy of the show.
4. Grandpop’s Death
It had been coming for a while, but his death was still a little bit of a shock. The fiasco after it was even worse, and still gets me a little angry when I think of it.
5. Phillies Win the World Series
It took 25 years, but finally a team brought a championship to the city – and the celebration showed how much we all appreciated it. Too bad the Eagles couldn’t follow it up, instead falling back on tradition (that is, the ‘tease’).
6. Obama Elected
After 8 years of this nightmare called the Bush administration, finally some sanity was back in the White House. I’m still a bit worried about whether he’ll be able to do the job with these tough times, it’s without a doubt a great moment in our country’s history.

Top Pictures

Got Beer? Phillies - World Champs! Turkey Sammich Presenting... Who are YOU calling UGLY?
Makes me want to sing! Seen Last Night Over Haddonfield!! Orange You Sad Summer's Almost Gone? Simon Says... Luna

Best Birds

  1. Curlew Sandpiper
  2. Blue Grosbeak
  3. Horned Lark
  4. Piping Plover (& chicks)
  5. Barred Owl

2009 Goal Birds

  1. Snowy Owl
  2. Golden Eagle
  3. Elf Owl
  4. Elegant Trogon
  5. Cactus Wren
  6. Hooded Warbler

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